Track Review | Ledisi, ‘High’
Underrated R&B diva Ledisi returns with “High,” her first new single since releasing album ‘The Truth’ in 2014. “High” is both classic and modern.
2014. That was when underrated adult contemporary R&B artist Ledisi released The Truth, her sixth studio album. Now she returns with her first single from her upcoming album, “High.” “High” seems like a cliché title and subject matter, but Ledisi makes it worth it, by all means.
The production work is da bomb diggity. There is a balance between old- and new school. Both younger and older fan bases can get onboard to the sound of “High” if nothing else. The brass hits clearly hearken back to the past, while the drum programming is sheik and modern. While vocal harmonies clearly hail from the past, the incorporation of said harmonies doesn’t sound anachronistic. In line with modern pop and R&B, there’s gimmickry in play.
Vocally, Ledisi remains among the crème de la crème. Towards the end of “High,” she flaunts her range, which is silly, in the most awesome way possible. Throughout the course of the song, she’s always in command, never letting the production work overpower her. Is this her best vocal? No, but mostly because of the gimmicky nature of the record at times. Where songs like “Think of You,” “Higher Than This,” “Pieces of Me” or “88 Boxes” have more traditional continuity, “High” is more segmented and separated at times.
Is Ledisi true to herself? Overall, yes. “High” pushes the envelope for the once jazz-oriented R&B singer, yet, there’s still plenty cues and remnants of the past. She deserves credit for looking towards the future – evolving – as opposed to remaining comfortable, in a box.
For some listeners, “High” might require patience. Give it some time, and a few listens, and the magic reveals itself. It’s not perfect, but it showcases the versatility of Ledisi, and her willingness to remain fresh in the game. Ultimately, “High” should minimally get listeners buzzed.